The best thing about Stacy (other than that she truly cares, is passionate about dog agility and is hilarious) is that she never teaches you something that doesn’t work! She truly is a world-class talent – and not only does she know agility, she knows how to teach. I can also say with confidence that Stacy really stands out from other instructors in terms of training your dog in ways that are consistent with established principles of behavior. I have a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis, with a background in both human and animal behavior (but no doctorate in dog agility haha). Her training methods demonstrate insights and an understanding of behavior often found only in academia. For those who really want to take their agility training to the next level, getting there is possible with Stacy as an instructor. And for beginners, I can’t imagine a better foundation. By taking private lessons, I’ve learned more than I’ve even had the time to apply fully in the few short years I’ve been working with her. I know I would not be anywhere near the trainer I am today without her.
I trained with Stacy for about 15 years in San Diego. She is one of the best instructors I have ever had. She knows that not all dogs and handlers are the same and is able to work with each team individually to address their specific training needs. She has brilliant problem solving skills and a keen eye for subtleties that make the difference between an OK performance and a stellar one. She takes a personal interest in each of her students, and inspires them to be the best they can be. When “good enough” is not good enough, go to Stacy. She makes training fun and rewarding.
“What do you say about an agility trainer? A lot!! Especially when you have spent nearly 12 years training with an amazing, intuitive, witty instructor who knows how to bring out the best in your dog, in you as a handler, and then push you both into becoming a phenomenal team together. Stacy has incredible skill, knowledge beyond her years, and a way of calling you on your “crap” so that you pull up your socks, recognize what you need to do to achieve your goals, and then train through the rough patches. More than a trainer, Stacy is a coach—not just for athletes and Border Collies ... but for everyone and for every breed. Under her instruction, my dogs (Brittanys and Jack Russells) have achieved 9 MACHs and worked through multiple training “issues.” She was worth every minute of the 2.5 hour commute for lessons and she will remain a remote training destination even a thousand miles away! Whether you have high drive dogs, low drive dogs, or just dog dogs—if you love agility, Stacy and her training philosophies are worth the drive! And don’t ever discredit her focus on foundation skills— because these will make all the difference in the end! BEST ... INSTRUCTOR ... EVER!” Joanna Hunt I have been training in agility with Stacy for over 12 years and she is a brilliant instructor! Stacy has an extraordinary eye for attention to the important details in handling and in dog behavior and motivation. Stacy is a tremendous coach to her students and truly cares about us. She always pushes me to be a better handler, which I so appreciate. I have achieved MACHs and ATCH's and have competed at AKC and ASCA agility nationals with my dogs due to Stacy's instruction and she will always be my agility instructor as in my eyes no one else can fill those big shoes.
We have been blessed (and spoiled) to have one of the top agility instructors in the entire country in our own backyard for the past 15 years. You are more than an instructor to us . . . you are a friend, and you will be dearly missed. Patty Englestad My dogs and I have been taking agility lessons from Stacy Winkler for almost ten years. This involves four dogs all Brittanys. Stacy teaches an efficient form of agility so progress is easy to monitor. She is the best at recognizing a problem and the most expedient at fixing it. Weather puppy foundation or Masters level her pleasant demeanor and straight talk instruction are the very best. Will miss you so much. You are the best agility instructor but more important you are such a good and kind human being. You simply cannot be replaced.
My husband who was a complete novice at agility was put in the spot of running a fast and experienced dog. He absolutely loved Stacys excellent style of teaching. He liked how she broke down the “why” of handling how she was teaching. He particularly learned so quickly because Stacy showed the shortest line in a way he could understand well. Plus Stacy’s agility classes had that touch of fun to make Ron to keep coming back for more. He handled our dog Rugby to the podium in Grand Prix at a Regional event after a relatively brief time of lessons.
I have been training with Stacy since practically the beginning of time! I have trained two Irish Setters with her and she has been most patient and understanding and observant as to what both me and my dogs needed. Both of my girls attained high level accomplishments in AKC agility. The first one earned seven MACH’s and my current girl has her MACH, PACH and is on her way to her second PACH. I truly don’t believe any of this would have been accomplished without Stacy’s keen teaching skills. Give her a try, you won’t be disappointed!!
We have 3 agility dogs that had lost their interest and drive in agility. That is when a friend recommended Stacy to us. After working with Stacy our dogs got fired up again. She showed us how to train with toys and treats. She helped us with our handling immensely. Her ability to communicate is superb along with her patience for repeating and demonstrating how to achieve the desired response. Her versatility in working with different breeds is so important. We run a Border Collie and 2 mixed breed dogs. All have different personalities and she knew exactly what methods of training to bring out the best in them. Stacy is the agility trainer of the highest caliber and we highly recommend her.
When I moved to San Diego one of my first priorities was to find an agility trainer. I asked several dog people and they gave me the same name Stacy Winkler. One of my friends had a flyer for Stacy's facility - Keen Performance Dog Sports. With contact information in hand I called and scheduled a lesson. This is one of the best things I ever did for my dogs. Now 15 years later my dogs and I have earned 5 MACHs, been to the agility National and have had so much fun along the way. Stacy is a consistent trainer with a keen eye for every situation. That consistency translates into the dogs sound understanding. She has helped me to be a better partner to my dogs. I recommend Stacy to anyone looking for RESULTs in their training.
I cannot say enough good things about her. After just one seminar I realized that Meeko was fixable. I took what I could from that seminar and practiced, practiced and practiced. Several months later Stacy returned to teach, and by the end of that seminar Meeko was already running significantly faster. I was hooked. Throughout this past year I enrolled in every seminar Stacy presented in B.C. and completed both her foundation 1 and foundation 2 online courses. I was expecting to have my dog stay in the ring (which did happen) and for him to become faster and demonstrate more drive (which also happened). However, the list didn’t stop there. Stacy’s seminars and online courses allowed me to fall in love with the game again. I learned how to reward properly, appropriately and often. I learned how to break things down for my dog. I learned how to catch those golden moments and I learned a lot about myself in the process. Stacy’s excellent videos, online lessons, feedback and her eye for detail literally changed everything. She’s motivating, clear, and doesn’t miss a beat. Since Stacy TRAINING IS SO MUCH FUN!!! I now look forward to recording my videos for Stacy’s online courses, to working my dog in classes, and I can HARDLY wait to have Stacy back in Canada for more seminars. Quite a turn around for both dog and handler The golden that used to run away… stays in the ring now. He now knows how to work through failure. Meeko LOVES the game and his speed and drive proves it. My dog who absolutely wouldn’t tug to save his life now tugs with joy and enthusiasm. Practice is enjoyable and because I’m having so much more fun… so is he. Everyone needs to experience Stacy! You need to take her online foundation courses and you need to jump all feet/paws in. “Just do it!” Take the courses, practice, and trust the system… and the rest will come.
Stacy- the waiver you should have had ME sign would have read: ”I’m not responsible if your previously careful poodle will start chasing the toy like a madman and will run into walls trying to get it.” I really have to watch where we’re playing now- my floors are all wood and slippery. Never been a problem before!
This is fabulous news! I am glad Stacy has decided to offer a repeat of this on-line foundation class. I desperately want to spend more time on these skills to perfect them. I missed all of this foundation work with JazzMean in the first place which is why I signed up for Stacy Winkler’s foundation class. I am so happy that I can continue these lessons without feeling rushed. I am already seeing the benefits of this foundation work on the agility field with my excellent level dog! It is never too late to improve foundation skills. I will take this class again and anything else Stacy has to offer. She is an amazing instructor and holds students accountable with a gifted eye for detail! Stacy knows how to teach all ability levels.
Best ever!!! Highly recommend!!! Stacy is an excellent teacher! Every day, I see people (& especially their dogs!) who could benefit from this because it’s FUN!!! Too many of us, myself included, forget to make training & learning FUN!!
As an instructor, Stacy opens your eyes to the possibilities. She sees the best in you--and in your dog--and helps you see it too. With every run, I'm thankful for the training I've had with Stacy.
As a Canadian snowbird, I am very lucky to be able to train with Stacy during the winter months in Vista, California. During the rest of the year, I’m equally lucky to be able to train through her online classes. I have audited both Foundation classes and have learned so much from reading and re-reading each lesson and working through each exercise on my own. Stacy provides a video demonstration of each lesson and shows very clearly the mechanics and technique required to master each skill. Watching the student videos and reading Stacy’s comments to each person is extremely helpful. Stacy’s eye for detail is just as acute in her online classes as it is in person, and each working participant receives great feedback and support in every session. It is very clear from reading Stacy’s comments that her goal is to help her students and their dogs to improve in their agility careers, to grow in confidence, and to find the joy in working together as a team. That has certainly been my experience in training with Stacy!
Stacy Winkler rocks!! I just finished on online foundation class with her for my agility puppy. In the midst of her regular teaching and trial schedule, she made time for every student’s videos and questions, including the auditing students. She broke down the clips bit by bit, giving constructive tips along with praise and encouragement every step of the way. Her lessons include her own testimonials and break down each drill into easy to follow steps. She provided clear demonstrations of all the behaviors with her own, and others, dogs on video. Since I’m a visual learner, this was the best!!!! Watching Stacy work with her own dogs gives the clearest example of how my relationship with my own dogs should be……for play, work, and even correcting them when they give me a different behavior than I’m asking for. Although she really puts me through the paces, and asks for increasingly better performances from me, I can’t wait to start my next class. It’s evident she wants to bring out the best in me and my dogs, as a team. And above all, she’s taught me to find the FUN in all training!!
Eleven years ago I was introduced to Stacy Winkler. I had tried many agility instructors before meeting Stacy. I was just not satisfied with their teaching. In my very first lesson with Stacy, I was blown away by what she was saying and I knew I had found the perfect instructor for me. Stacy’s understanding of great dog training and the importance of a solid foundation as well as her attention to detail, was just what I was looking for in an instructor. With Stacy’s help, my husband Mel and I have put twenty agility championships on four of our standard Poodles. Stacy has helped me bring along my extremely fearful and stressed from birth young Poodle. Many of you have seen this young Poodle, UPGRAYEDD, that has gone from not wanting to leave the startline or looking for a way to escape the ring, to her MXJ in just a few months. Stacy has helped me take this dog that had absolutely NO drive at all and build drive and work ethic into her. This dog now loves agility. Stacy is just as talented at helping students with super high drive dogs as well as low drive dogs. Our very fast Border Collie, Crush, was out of control when we started her with Stacy. She would run off to chase other dogs, screamed when she saw movement of any kind, flanked jumps and had very little focus at all. Stacy helped us to channel Crush’s high drive and show her how much fun it is to be in high gear AND have self-control at the same time. Stacy is brilliant when it comes to teaching students how to maintain speed and drive, while creating great control behaviors and understanding on course. Stacy’s online course takes students on an incredible training journey. She uses videos and text to demonstrate the mechanics and skills for each lesson.
I have been training dogs for 30 years and have put Championships on my dogs in Breed, Obedience and have over a dozen MACHs in Agility. I took Stacy Winkler’s Foundation class with my 6 mo old mini poodle and I think it’s wonderful. I just love the Rule Outs work and the rest of the lessons too. Some of it is a little review for me but much of it is either new or a twist on things I have done in the past and my puppy is really getting some great foundation work!
What do you say about an agility trainer? A lot!! Especially when you have spent nearly 12 years training with an amazing, intuitive, witty instructor who knows how to bring out the best in your dog, in you as a handler, and then push you both into becoming a phenomenal team together. Stacy has incredible skill, knowledge beyond her years, and a way of calling you on your “crap” so that you pull up your socks, recognize what you need to do to achieve your goals, and then train through the rough patches. More than a trainer, Stacy is a coach—not just for athletes and Border Collies … but for everyone and for every breed. Under her instruction, my dogs (Brittanys and Jack Russells) have achieved 9 MACHs and worked through multiple training “issues.” She was worth every minute of the 2.5 hour commute for lessons and she will remain a remote training destination even a thousand miles away! Whether you have high drive dogs, low drive dogs, or just dog dogs—if you love agility, Stacy and her training philosophies are worth the drive! And don’t ever discredit her focus on foundation skills— because these will make all the difference in the end! BEST … INSTRUCTOR … EVER!”
Online Class Testimonials
I also want to tell you that you are my #1 favorite online trainer. You have the absolute best teaching methods, breaking it down, explaining the possible trouble spots, etc. In my non-agility life I own my own presentation skills training company - I train presenters and speakers all over the world, mainly Fortune 500 companies - so I am one tough critic when it comes to training. You are spectacular! Anyway - Contact lessons ASAP - please!! You are amazing!!
This is an amazing class! Stacy is the best!
Maya and I took this class last year and it was fantastic